Christie’s closing should concern Westport residents


Downtown Westport

Christie’s, a Westport institution since 1926, will close their doors next month. For the past ninety years, Christie’s Country Store has served as the go-to place for many Bedford and Staples students for an after-school snack or just to sit and chat.

Large efforts from Westporters have helped to save struggling local businesses in the past few years, including Great Cakes and Black Duck. They provided the short-term economic boost needed to keep the establishments in business. However, no such effort has been coordinated for Christie’s. Unfortunately, as a mega-mall is being built in Norwalk, right in our backyard, we are forced to say goodbye to a business that represented everything good about Westport.

With the disappearance of Christie’s, there are fewer and fewer places to go in Westport that feel unique to the community. Its going out of business is emblematic of the transformation of our town, as Westport has embraced large chains like Five Guys and Shake Shack.

National chains undoubtedly provide Westporters the ability to immerse themselves in nationwide cultural identities. However, what has drawn residents to Westport has been its uniqueness, and how it stands out from much of the rest of the country. This unique identity is rooted partially in the unique small stores and restaurants run by locals. If we are to preserve our identity, we cannot let these small establishments disappear.

Christie’s was more than a place to eat. It gave adults and children alike the chance to socialize with friends and family. Serving the community for the better part of a century, Christie’s became ingrained in the fabric of Westport. But with the increasing number of large chains setting up shop in Fairfield County, from Urban Outfitters to Chick-Fil-A, our community must do more to support local businesses, or even more small shops, like Christie’s, will close.